Around 21,000 students in West Bengal will write the ISC (Class XII) exams that start on Monday.
This will be the first board exam for the batch of Class XII because the Covid pandemic had forced the cancellation of the Class X (ICSE) boards two years ago.
Monday’s paper is English 1 (English Language). The school-leaving exams will continue till March 31.
The current school-leaving batch had been attending online classes and writing online exams since the outbreak of Covid in 2020. This year’s ISC examinees in West Bengal again started writing exams in a school set-up after February 2022, when the state government allowed reopening of campuses for in-person activities following a sharp drop in Covid cases.
“The biggest challenge for this batch is to concentrate for full three hours, because for a good period of time they were used to writing online exams and attending online classes, where there was a certain freedom... and they were more relaxed,” said Terence Ireland, principal, St James' School.
On Monday, the three-hour test starts at 2pm. Question papers will be distributed at 1.45pm. Teachers advised the examinees to reach the campus well in advance.
The last full-length board exam was held in 2019.
In 2020, the board exams remained incomplete because of the outbreak of Covid and the subsequent lockdown.
No board exam was held in 2021. Last year, the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations, which conducts the Class X and Class XII boards, split the school-leaving exams into two semesters.
To prepare the candidates for their first board exams, a number of schools had arranged for more remedial classes and more writing practice compared with other years.
"We held rehearsal exams in a way that would prepare the students for the boards. In the rehearsal exams they were seated exactly as they would sit in the boards..." said Aruna Gomes, principal, Loreto House.
"My advice to students is that they utilise the first 15 minutes to read the question paper two or three times. In the last 15 minutes, they should revise the answers," said Sujoy Biswas, principal, Rammohan Mission High School.